Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"


We are available by phone at 508-238-2000, Ext. 3, Monday - Saturday between 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.;

or email us at Check out our list of online programs here!

Stress-Free Fridays

Need to de-stress? We've got weekly suggestions to help you unwind. 

All of these ideas are curated and brought to you by Megan Tully!

Stress-Free Fridays, July 10, 2020

This week’s suggested resource is:

Fun with Fractals

This Psychology Today article explores how fractals can make you feel happier!

Stress-Free Fridays, June 26, 2020

This week’s suggested resource is:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Learn about this relaxation technique with a step by step guide from the University of Michigan.

Stress-Free Fridays, June 19, 2020

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How Does Reading Measure Up?

This resource from the Provincial and Territorial Library Associations of Canada highlights some of the many benefits of reading. Did you know that reading for just a few minutes a day has been shown to be 300% more effective at reducing stress levels than going for a walk?!

Ready to escape and unwind with a great book? Request a title or two through our curbside pickup service or download a title from home. For some added fun, keep track of your reading with our summer reading program!

Stress-Free Fridays, June 12, 2020

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Forest Bathing

Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to take a bath out in the woods! As this NPR article explains, forest bathing is the rough translation of a Japanese term, Shinrin-yoku. It is a practice of spending time in nature and using all of your senses to observe and experience your surroundings. Check out the article to learn more and to find links to additional resources.

Stress-Free Fridays, June 5, 2020

This week's suggested resource is:

Benefits of Dance: 8 Benefits for Adults and Kids

Tired of feeling cooped up, but even more tired of taking walks around the neighborhood? Dance it out! Dance has a variety of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. This article from Healthline outlines some of these benefits and highlights specific benefits related to certain types of dancing. So this weekend, try out a dance class or routine on YouTube or just put on your favorite songs and turn your living room into a dance floor!


Stress-Free Fridays, May 29, 2020

This week’s suggested resource is:

5 Simple Exercises

“If stress is raising your tension level and taking a toll on your peace of mind, gentle mind/body exercises may help you relax.” This may sound like something written for life in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is actually the opening sentence to an article from a 2007 issue of the magazine Mind, Mood, & Memory! Check out the article for some simple exercises modified from yoga and tai chi practices.

Stress-Free Fridays, May 22, 2020

This week’s suggested resource is:

Gratitude Journaling

Research suggests that a regular gratitude journaling practice can result in a number of positive health impacts including improved mood and better sleep. Greater Good in Action, part of the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, walks you through how to begin and why you should give gratitude journaling a try.


Stress-Free Fridays, May 15, 2020

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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers and Zooniverse

Tired of jigsaw puzzles? Out of art and craft supplies? Try unwinding and have some fun as a citizen scholar! Both Smithsonian Digital Volunteers and Zooniverse allow you to assist researchers with important projects. Try your hand at transcribing historical documents, tagging digital images for classification, and more.


Stress-Free Fridays, May 8, 2020

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Laughter Yoga

As the old adage goes, “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter Yoga combines deep breathing and laughter exercises to get you moving and smiling. In this video, join Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher Celeste Greene for a short, but impactful “workout.”


Stress-Free Fridays, May 1, 2020

This week’s suggested resource is:


A favorite among Ames Free Library staff and patrons, Zentangle is a great way to relax and make something beautiful at the same time. Check out the official Zentangle website for tutorials and resources. Want more? Search “Zentangle” on Hoopla for a variety of guides.

Stress-Free Fridays, April 24, 2020

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5 Shaolin Qi Gong Breath Exercises

Relax, breathe deep, & strengthen your lungs with these traditional Chinese exercises.

Stress-Free Fridays, April 17, 2020

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Ambient Mixer

Getting tired of the same old background noise in your house? Check out the thousands of “audio atmospheres” available on Ambient Mixer. You’ll find a wide variety of mixes to listen to, from the traditional soothing sounds like ocean waves and rainstorms to those themed on your favorite books, TV shows, movies, and more? Close your eyes, listen, and escape to Rivendell, Hogwarts, and countless places in between.

Stress-Free Fridays, April 10, 2020

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Cosmic Kids Yoga

Join instructor Jaime “for yoga, stories, and fun” on Cosmic Yoga. While Jaime’s videos are designed with a younger audience in mind, they are fun for the whole family!

Stress-Free Fridays, April 3, 2020

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This is the adult coloring trend at its most sophisticated! Put on your pearls, grab a glass of wine, and get ready to color-in art from some of the finest institutions around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, and the New York Public Library.

Stress-Free Fridays, March 27, 2020
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Live Jelly Cam - Monterey Bay Aquarium

Take a few minutes to watch the jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and let them teach you to “go with the flow.”

Stress-Free Fridays, March 20, 2020
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Silk Interactive Generative Art

Use symmetry to draw pictures! It's a great way to spend a relaxing 10-15 minutes, or whenever you need a break.

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